By Ryan-Ashley Rodriquez
Behind all the Rock Stars, Rodeo champs, and the glam of the Greeley Stampede, works a dedicated volunteer staff of over 350 people. After almost a full year of planning, volunteer Wranglers began assembling gates, cleaning offices, and doing other dirty jobs that attendees take for granted. Why would anyone want to do such a seemingly thankless job?
Wrangler Jeanne Griffin said she enjoys all the hard work put into the event- “It’s so fun, it doesn’t even feel like work!” she exclaims. She enjoys the relationships she has built with other wranglers more than the events they are able to attend. Griffin refers to the wranglers as her “second family.”
Dick Davis, Rodeo Chairman of the Greeley Stampede, has been a wrangler for 14 years. He started volunteering as security, was eventually asked to be the vice president of the Wrangler Board and 4 years ago he became a Trail Boss. Davis said he enjoys spending so much time outside with other wranglers, especially at the Stampede.
Rish Burkholder, a wrangler of 14 years, said, “Wranglers has been a life-changing thing for me.” Through the volunteer duty, Rish has gotten involved in many other projects and even gotten jobs through some of the people she has met. She is thankful and surprised by the many doors it has opened.
While a wrangler’s job is often hot and long, the volunteers enjoy their work and eventually realize the benefits – Whether it’s earning a higher position, building relationships, or being able to attend Stampede events.